While it’s true that you can’t exactly spot reduce, there are exercises you can do to help tone and tighten certain body parts including your outer thighs or, as we affectionately refer to them, “saddlebags.” Do these 4 thigh exercises 3 times a week on nonconsecutive days, and include at least 30 minutes of cardio 3-4 times a week for the best results. Do more reps as you become stronger and build your outer thighs of steel.
1. Take a Bow. Stand with one leg diagonally behind you, and you want to get your back knee as close to the floor as possible, hovering 2 inches off the floor. If you’re just starting out, get as low as you can. You want to do 25-30 per side, for 3 reps. You want to make sure your chest is lifted and you’re not leaning forward. You want to keep your back straight and your core engaged.
2. The Running Man. I prefer doing this move with a step. Place your left foot on the step, with your right foot out behind you. Next, bring your right foot up to your chest as fast as you can without losing your form, using your arms for momentum and keeping all your weight over your left foot to stabilize you. Place your right foot back behind you and repeat. Keep this up for 30 seconds on each side.
3. Lateral Lunge with a Towel. You’re going to want to do this one on a linoleum or wood floor. Get a small towel and place it under your right foot. You want to get your knee-to-hip ratio at a 90 degree angle, with your hamstrings parallel to the floor. Keep your weight on your left leg, and push the right foot out to the side, using the resistance of the towel to bring you back into the starting position. Press into the towel as you slide your left foot back into place. Start with 3 sets of 20 reps on each side.
4. The Jane Fonda. This one is an oldie but goodie and still gets great results, and you can even do it while watching tv. Lay on your side, forearms on the floor propped up on your elbow, with one leg on top of the other, slightly behind you. Raise your upper leg towards the ceiling, then slowly lower it back down. Do 3 sets of 25 reps on each side.
Jennifer Cohen is a leading fitness authority, TV personality, best-selling author, and entrepreneur. With her signature, straight-talking approach to wellness, Jennifer was the featured trainer on The CW’s Shedding for the Wedding, mentoring the contestants’ to lose hundreds of pounds before their big day, and she appears regularly on NBC’s Today Show, Extra, The Doctors and Good Morning America. Connect with Jennifer on Facebook, Twitter, G+ and on Pinterest.